What Does Business Think About California?

OCBC President and CEO Lucy Dunn spoke as the keynote Friday at the “Governing California – A Symposium on Solutions for the 21st Century,” held by Concordia University’s Center for Public Policy. Dunn shared with guests the business community’s perspective on issues and governance in California, highlighting the vast disconnect between business and government that is a roadblock to economic growth from San Francisco to San Diego.

“Business is intrigued by California, but recently have been subject to a lot of mixed messages,” Dunn said. “Over the past many decades, business and economic development just presumed to grow and there didn’t seem to be any concerted effort or thought on how that was happening. Then the rules and regulations piled on.”

California continues to rank near the bottom of business-friendly states in the country, with many other states actively recruiting and advertising relocation opportunities to California’s businesses. Fixing the state’s problems requires a three-pronged approach: funding, reforms, and innovations. However, government and business are not on the same page when it comes to economic growth, jobs creation or reform. When businesses grow, they create jobs, in turn increasing tax revenues to the state, and all ships rise.

Throughout the symposium, hosted by Keith Curry, Director of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy and former mayor of Newport Beach, panelists discussed the events that led the state to where it is now, and proposed solutions to fix California. Panelists included Marian Bergeson, former California State Secretary of Education and Senator; Curt Pringle, former Assembly Member and Mayor of Anaheim; Bill Campbell, Orange County Supervisor; and Rick Reiff, host and executive producer of PBS So Cal. For more information contact Katherine Reedy, Director of Communications.

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